Updated: Jul 21, 2022
What kind of books do kids love the most? Funny ones, of course!
Humorous books draw kids in and makes reading fun.
Research carried out by Scholastic (Kids & Family Reading Report) discovered that more than 70% of kids say they look for a book that makes them laugh. And why not – we all love a good belly laugh don’t we? After all, laughter really is the best medicine.
The enjoyable feeling associated with funny texts provides a powerful motivation for kids to seek out humour in their daily lives. They tell each other funny jokes and riddles at school, they listen to funny stories being read to them, they watch funny cartoons online and on TV and they read books that have funny events and situations. So it’s not surprising that kids prefer funny books when given the choice.
Humour is a welcome escape from the world. When you laugh with someone, you build a bond with them. You feel relaxed and happy – and when you’re happy doing something, you are more likely to do it again. This is why reading funny books can encourage reluctant readers to read more often. If they find the experience pleasurable, they are more likely to try reading again.
“Laughter is the reward that lures the most reluctant reader.” (Zbaracki, 2003)
Research shows that humour plays an important role in developing, negotiating and maintaining relationships (Shiota, Campos, Keltner & Hertenstein, 2004), so sharing a funny book together can be the perfect way to build positive relationships.
Reading about funny things a book character gets up to can help kids explore similar things that are happening in their own lives. Laughter helps us get through tough times – sometimes it makes it easier to solve our problems when we make light of them.
Trevor Cairney, while he was a Professor at the University of Sydney, wrote:
“Humour has enormous positive benefits for early literacy learning. It helps children to engage with stories and the language that is used to create stories. This in turn helps them to listen to story readings longer and to want to read books for themselves.”
Humour in the classroom can decrease boredom, anxiety and stress and helps to improve the classroom environment, making learning more enjoyable.
“Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted.” Dr Seuss.
Nothing provides this better than a funny book!